tv Gingrich Swearing In CSPAN January 3, 2015 8:35am-9:23am EST
way some of his reforms alienated and off a lot of people including the majority party. he wanted term limits on committee chairman. all of a sudden, there are republicans who were going to be committee chairman for the first time and they were looking forward to this new power. newt gingrich had his problems in his two terms. he resigned from the speakership with some ethics charges against him and his attempt to impeach bill clinton backfired on him. the revolution he brought forth in 1994 is still a landmark piece of congressional history. it was a complete change of the order of things, the power in the house. >> thank you. and now here is newt gingrich from 1995 on the opening day of the 104th congress.
house, i first want to thank my democratic colleagues for their support and confidence. i noted we were a little short but i appreciate your friendship and your support. as you might imagine, this is not a moment that i had been waiting for. ]laughter] when you carry the mantle of progress, there is precious little glory in defeat but sometimes, we spend so much time lionizing the winners and labeling the losers we lose sight of the victory we all shared in this crown jewel of democracy. you see, mr. speaker, this is a day to celebrate a power that belongs not to any political party but to the people. no matter the margin, no matter the majority. all across the world from bosnia
to chechnya to south africa, people lay down their lives for the kind of voice we take for granted. too often the chance for of power is an act of pain and carnage, not one as we say today of peace and decency. here in the house of representatives, for 219 years longer than any democracy in the world, we heed the people's voice with peace and civility and respect. each and every on this very floor, we echo the hopes and dreams of our people, their fears and their failures, their abiding beliefs in a better america. we may not all agree with
today's changing of the guard. we may not all like it, but we an act of the people's will with dignity and honor and pride. in that endeavor, mr. speaker, there can be no losers and there can be no defeat. of course, in the 104th congress, there will be conflict and compromise. agreements will not always be easy. agreements sometimes are not even possible. while we may not agree on matters of party in principle we all abide with the will of the people. that is reason enough to place our good faith and our best hopes in your able hands. i speak from the bottom of my heart when i say that i wish you the best in these coming two years.
when this gavel passes into your hands, so does the futures and fortunes of millions of americans. to make real progress, to improve real people's lives, we both have to rise above partisanship. we have to work together where we can and where we must. it is a profound responsibility one which knows no bounds of party or politics. it is a responsibility not merely for those who voted for you not merely for those who cast their fate on your side of the aisle but also for those who did not. these are the responsibilities i pass along with the gavel i hold or will hold in my hand. there is some burdens the democratic party will never ceased to bear. the democrats came to congress
to fight for america's hard-working middle income families, the families who are working often for longer hours, less pay for fewer benefits and jobs they are not sure they can keep. we together must redeem their faith that if they work hard and they play by the rules, they can build a better life for their children. mr. speaker i want this entire house to speak for those families. the democratic party will. that mantle we will never lay to rest. [applause] so with partnership but with purpose, i pass this great gavel of our government. with resignation but with resolve, i hereby and 40 years
of democratic rule of this house. [applause] with faith and with friendship and the deepest respect, you are now my speaker and let the great debate begin. i now have the high honor and distinct privilege to present to the house of representatives our new speaker, the gentle from georgia, newt gingrich. [applause] [applause]
i could not help but notice that my side probably over reacted to your statement of ending 40 years of democratic rule. i could not help but look over at bob michael who has often been a peer and knows that everything dixit was true -- that this was difficult and painful to lose and on my side of the aisle we have for 20 elections, been on the losing side. and yet there is something so wonderful about the process by which a free people decides this. my own case, i lost two elections and with a good help of my friend digg as io came close to losing to others. [laughter] i'm sorry did not work out. i can tell you that every time when the polls closed and i waited for the vows to come in, i felt good because win or lose we have been part of this process.
in a little while, at last the dean of the house, john dingell, to swear me in. to insist on the bipartisan nature of the way in which we together work in this house. john's father was one of the great stalwarts of the new deal, a man as an fdr democrat created modern america and i think john and his father represent a tradition we all have to recognize and respect and recognize that the america we are now going to try to lead grew from that tradition and is part of that great heritage. i also want to take just a moment to thank speaker foley who was extremely generous in his public utterances and everything he and mrs. foley did to help mary ann and me and our staff make the transition. i think he worked very hard to reestablish the dignity of the house and i think we can all be proud of the reputation he takes
and of the spirit with which he led the speakership and are best wishes go to speaker and mrs. foley. [applause] i also want to thank the various house officers who have been just extraordinary. i want to say for the public record that faced with a result none of them wanted in a situation i suspect none of them expected that within 48 hours every officer of this house reacted as a patriot and worked overtime, bent over backwards, and in every way helped us and i am very grateful and i think this house owes a debt of gratitude to every officer that the democrats elected two years ago. [applause]
this is a historic moment. i was asked how it felt an the only word that comes close to adequate is overwhelming. i feel overwhelmed in every way overwhelmed by the georgian to came up, overwhelmed by my extended family that is here overwhelmed by the historic moment when i stood in the balcony just outside this because all those looking down the mall this morning early and i was overwhelmed by the view which the two men i introduced know very well. it is a sense of being a part of america, being part of this great tradition. i have two gavels, the cap and to use one that was appropriate. this is a georgia gavel that i just got this morning done by dorsey newman of tallapoosa decided the gavels he saw on tv were not big enough or strong enough so he cut down a walnut tree in his backyard and made a gavel and sent it appear so this is a genuine georgia gavel. i'm the first georgia's bigger in over 100 years.
the last one had a weird accent, too, speaker chris was born in britain and is family were actors and he came to the u.s. secondly, this is the gavel that speaker martin used. i'm not sure what it says about the inflation of government when you put them side by side but this is the gavel used by the last republican speaker. i want to comment for a minute on two men who served as my leaders and from whom i learned so much. when i arrived as a freshman there was a republican party dispirited by watergate on a loss of the presidency but banded together and worked with a leader who helped pave the way for our great party victory of 1980 and a man adjusted and marvelous job and i cannot speak to highly about what i learned about integrity and leadership encouraged him serving with him in my freshman term and easier with us again today. i hope all of you will recognize congressman john rhodes of
arizona. [applause] let me say also that our request, he was not sure he should be here at all and he thought he would hide in the back of the room and i insisted he come down front. somebody who i regard as a mentor and virtually every democrat in the house will say was a man who generally cares about and loves the house and who represents the best spirit of the house, the man who i studied under and i hope as speaker, i can always rely on for advice and who i hope frankly i can emulate and his commitment to this institution and in his willingness to try to reach beyond his personal interests and personal partisanship. i hope all of you join me in thanking him for his years of service, congressman bob michael of illinois. [applause]
i am very fortunate today that i have my mom and dad here. they are right up there, bob and kit gingrich, and i am delighted they are able to be here. sometimes when you get to my age, you cannot have everyone near you you would like to. i cannot say a much i learn from i dad in his years of serving in the u.s. army and how much i learned from my mother who is my most enthusiastic cheerleader. my daughters are here up there kathy and her husband and jackie and her husband. and the person who clearly is my
closest friend and best advisor and if i listened to her 20% more, i would not get in trouble, my wife marianne. [applause] i have a very large extended family and they are virtually all intent and we've done our part for the tourist season. i could not help -- when i first came on the floor earlier and i went around and saw a number of the young people who were here the children on the floor and the young adults who are close to 12 years of age [laughter] i could not help but think that sitting in the back rail near the center of the house are one
of my nephews, kevin who is five and susan who is six and emily who is eight and lauren who is nine. they are all back there. they are my nieces and nephew. i have two other nephews who are older in the gallery. i could not help but think that the way i want to start the speakership and talk with every member that in a sense these young people you see around you i really what this is all about, much more than the negative advertising and interest groups and all the different things that make politics all too often cynical and nasty and sometimes plain miserable. what makes politics worthwhile is that the choice as dick gephardt said, between what we see so tragically on the evening news and the way we try to do it is to work very hard to make this system of free representative self-government work. the ultimate reason for doing
that is these children and the country they will inherit and the world they will live in. we are starting the 104th congress. for 208 years we gather together the most diverse country in the history of the world, we send all sorts of people, each of us could find at least one member we thought was weird and if you went around the room, the person would be different for everyone of us. because we do allow and insist upon the right of a free people to send an extraordinary diversity of people here. brian lamb at c-span read to me friday a phrase from de tocqueville that is essential to the house. henry clay always preferred the house. he was the first on speaker and he preferred the house to the senate although he served in both. he said the house is more
vital and dynamic and comment. " often, there's not a distinguished man in the whole number. its members are almost all obscure individuals whose names bring no associations to mind. they are mostly village lawyers men in trade, or even persons along into the lower classes of society. ." if you put women in with men, i don't know that it we would change much but the word volcker in that time had a particular meaning. it is a meaning the world would do well to study in this room. you see ,de tocqueville was an aristocrat who lived in a world of princes and kings and the folks who come here come here by the one single act that they are -- that their citizens freely chosen and i don't care what
your ethnic background or ideology is or whether you are younger or older, i don't care whether you were born in america or you are a naturalized citizen -- every one of the 435 people have equal standing because their citizens freely sent them and their voice should be heard and they should have a right to participate and it is the most marvelous act of a complex, giant country trying to argue and talk -- to have a great debate and reach great decisions not for a civil war, not by bombing one of our regional capitals, not by killing have a million people, not by having snipers. let me say unequivocally, i condemn all acts of violence against the law by all people for all reasons. this is a society of law and a society of civil behavior. [applause]
so here we are as commoners together, to some extent democrats and republicans, to some extent liberals and conservatives, but americans all. steve gunderson gave me a copy of the portable abraham lincoln. he suggested i should learn about our party but i would also say that it does not hurt to have a copy of the portable fdr. this is a great country with great people. if there is anyone factor or act of my life that strikes me as a's -- as i stand up here as the first republican of 40 years to do so, when i first becamewhip in 1989, russia was beginning to change, the soviet union as a was then. into my office came eight russians and a lithuanian. they were members of the communist party, newspaper editors and they asked me what
does a with do. they said in russia we have never had a free parliament since 1917 and that was only for a few months. what do you do? i tried to explain. it's strange if you are from a dictatorship. you don't really have a whip. if you pressure people too much they won't reelect you, it's a democracy that's hard. it's frustrating. we came in the chamber and the lithuanian was a man in his late 60's and i allowed him to come up here . he came out of the chair he was almost in tears. he said, you know, ever since world war ii i've remembered what the americans did and i've never believed the propaganda
but he said i have to tell you i did not think in my life that i would be able to sit at the center of freedom. one of the most overwhelming compelling moments of my life. and what struck me as something i couldn't help but think of when we were here with president mandola and i went over and saw ron and thought of the great work ron had done to extend freedom o across the planet and that sense of emotion that you see something totally different than you expected. while presidents are important they are in effect an elected kingship. but this and the other body across the way are where freedom has to be fought out. and that's the tradition i hope that we will take with us as we go to work. today we had a bipartisan prayer service. frank wolf made some very important points. he said we have to recognize that many of our most painful problems as a country are moral problems.
problems of dealing with ourselves and with life. he said character is the key to leadership. and we have to deal with that. he preached a little bit i don't think he thought it was preaching, about a spirit of reconciliation. and he talked about caring about our spouses and our children and our families, because if we're not prepared to model that beyond yust having them here for one day. if we're not prepared to care about our children and families, by what arrogance will we transskend our behavior to care about others? that's why with congressman again hart's help we have established a bipartisan task force and the family. we have established the principle that we are going to sit schedules to stick to so families can get to know each other and not just on c-span. i will also say -- [applause]
i will also say that means one of the strongest recommendations of the bipartisan family committee -- i don't want this to be seen as gingrich acting as a speaker on his own here -- is that we have 17 minutes to vote. they pointed out if you take the time we spend in the last congress where we had one more and then one more and one point we had a 45 minute vote that you literally can shorten the business and get people home if we will be strict and firm. i say that with all of my colleagues i hope paying attention because we are in fact going to work >> hard to have 17 minutes and it's over. so leave at the first bell not the second bell. ok? [applause] this may seem particularly inappropriate to say on the first day because this will be the busiest day on opening day in congressional history. i want to read just a part of the contract with america not
as a partisan act but to remind all of us that what we're about to go through and why. because those of us who ended up in a majority stood on these steps and signed a contract and here's part of what it says. on the first day of the 104th congress the new republican majority will immediately pass the following major reforms. aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the american people and their government. first, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the congress. second select a major independent auditting firm for waste fraud or abuse. third, cut the number of house committees and cut committee staff by a third. fourth, limit the terms of all committee chairs. fifth, ban the casting of proxy votes in committees. six, require committee meetings to be open to the public. seven, require a three fifths majority vote to pass a tax
increase. require an honest accounting of our budget. i told dick last night if i would to do it over again we would pledge within three days we will do these. so we've got ourselves in a little bit of a box. i carry the tv guide version of the contract with me at all times. we then said thereafter within the first 100 days we shall bring to the house floor the following bills to be given full and open debate, a clear and fair vote, to be immediately avable for inspection. and we listed ten iteles. a balanced budget amendment and line item veto. to top violent criminals. third was welfare reform. fourth protecting our kids. fifth tax cuts for families. six a stronger national defense. seventh was raising the senior citizens earning limit. eighth rolling back got
regulation, nine common-sense legal reform. and ten congressional term limits. our commitment on our side -- and i think we have this absolute obligation -- is first to work today toward this and i know this is going to inconvenes people as families and supporters. but we were hired to do a job and we have to start today to prove we will do it. second i would say to our friends in the democratic party that we are going to work with you and we are really laying out a schedule working with the minority leader to make sure that we can set dates certain to go home. that does mean two or three weeks out if we are running short we will frankly have longer sessions on tuesday wednesday, thursday. we will try to work this out in a bipartisan basis to in a workman like way to get it done. it is going to mean the busiest early months since 1933. beyond the contract i think there are two giant challenges and i really -- i know i'm a very partisan figure but i really hope today that i can
speak for a minute to my friends in the democratty party as well as my own colleagues about these two challenges and i hope we can have a dialogue. one is to achieve a balanced budget by 2002. now -- >> [applause] i think both democratic and republican governors will tell you it's doable but it's hard. i don't think it's doable in a year or two. i don't think we ought to lie to the american people. this is a huge complicated job. second, i think we have to find a way to truly replace the current welfare state with an opportunity society. let me talk very briefly about both. first on the balanced budget. i think we can get it done. i think the baby boomers are now old enough that we can have an honest dialogue about priorities, about resources, about what works, about what doesn't. let me say i've already told vice president gore we are going to invite him.
in december he had to go to moscow. we're going to invite him to address the republican conference. i believe there are grounds for us to talk together and work together to have hearings together to have task forces together. i think if we set priorities, if we apply the principles of those, if we build on the vice president's reinventing government effort, if we focus on transforming not just cutting not just do you want more or less but are there ways to do it better? can we learn from the private sect snr can we learn from florida and ibm and microsoft from what general motors has had to go through? i think on a bipartisan basis we owe it to our children and grandchildren to get this government in order hand to be able to actually pay our way. i think 2002 is a reasonable time frame and i would hope that together we can open a dialogue with the american people. and i have said i think social security ought to be off limits for at least four to six years because it will destroy us if
we try to bring it into the game. but everything else, whether medicare or agricultural subsidies or defense or anything that i think the greatest democratic president of the 20th century and in my judgment the greatest president said it right on march 4 933 when he stood in the braces as a man who had polio at a time when nobody ho had that kind of disability could be anything in public life and he was president of the united states and he stood in front of this capitol on a rainy march day and he said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. i believe if everyone of us will reach out in that spirit and will pledge -- and i think frankly on a bipartisan basis, i would say to the members of the black and hispanic caucus i hope we can arrange to share districts where you will have a republican who frankly may not know a thing about your district agree to come for a long weekend with you and you
will agree to go for a long weekend with them and we begin a dialogue and openness that is totally different than people are used to seeing in politics in america. and i believe if we do that we can create a dialogue that can lead to a blauget. but i think we have to -- balanced budget. but i think we have a greater challenge and i want to pick up on what dick again hart said because he said it right. and no republican here should kid themselves about it. the greatest leaders in fighting for an integrated america in the 20th century were in the democratic party. the fact is it was the liberal wing of the democratic party that ended segregation. the fact is it was franklin delano roosevelt who gave hope to a nation that was in despair and could have slid into dictatorship. and the fact is every republican has much to learn from studying what the democrats did right. but i would say to my friends in the democratic party that there is much to what ronald reagan was trying to get done. there is much to what is being
done today by republicans like bill wells and john eengler and toxy thompson and others. and there's much we can share with each other. we must replace the welfare state with an opportunity society. the balanced budget is the right thing to do. but it doesn't in my mind have the moral urgency of coming to grips with what's happening to the poorest americans. i commend to all of you marvin owe lassski's the tragedy of american's compassion. he goes back to 00 years and looks at what has worked in america, how we have helped people rise, how we have reached out to save people. he may not have the answers but he has the right sense of where we have to go as americans. i don't believe that there is a single american who can see a news report of a four-year-old thrown off of a public housing project in chicago by other
children and killed and not feel that a part of your heart went. i think of my nephew in the back, kevin. how would any of us feel about our children? how can any american read about an 11-year-old buried with his teddy bear because he killed a 14-year-old and then another 14-year-old kill him and not have some sense of, my god, where has this country gone? how can we not decide that this is a moral crisis equal to segregation? equal to slavery? and can we not insist that every day we take steps to do something? [applause] i have seldom been more shaken than i was shortly after the election when i had breakfast
with two members of the black caucus and one said to me can you imagine what it's like to visit a first grade class and realize that every fourth or fifth young boy in that class may be dead or in jail within 15 years? and they're your constituents and you're helpless to change it. and that just for some reason i don't know why but maybe because i visit a lot of schools. that got through. that personalized it. that made it real. not just statistics but real people. and then i tried to explain part of my thoughts by talking about the need for alternatives to the bureaucracy and we got into what i think has been a pretty distorted and cheap debate about orphanages. my father who is here today was a foster child who was adopted as a teenager. i am adopted. we have relatives who were adopted. we are not talking out of some
vague impersonal dickens bleak house middle class intellectual model. we have lived the alternatives. i believe when we are told that children are so lost in the city bureaucracies that there are children in dumpsters when we are told children are doomed to go to schools where 70 or 80% of them will not graduate when we're told of public housing project that is are so dangerous that if any private sector ran them they would be put in jail. and we're given a well, we'll study it. we'll get around to it. my only point is we can find ways immediately to do things better and to reach out and to break through the brureksy and to give every young american child a better chance. and let me suggest here. [applause]
let me suggest to you more of his new book -- i don't agree with all of it. working without a net. an effort to argue that we have to create our own safety nets. but he draws the distinction worth every american reading. between caring and care taking. he says care taking is when you bother me a little bit so i do enough so i feel better because i think i take care of you. you may in fact be an alcoholic and i just gave you the money to buy the bottle that kills you. but i feel better. caring is actually stopping and dealing with the human being and trying to understand enough about them to genuinely make sure you improve their life even if you have to start with a conversation like if you'll quit drinking i'll hep you get a job.
which is a lot harder conversation than i feel better i gave them a buck. i want to commend to every member on both sides to look carefully. to those republicans who believe in total privatization you can't believe in the good smaretian and explain that as long as business is making money we can walk by a fellow american who is hurt and not do something. and i would say to my friends who believe there has never been a government program that wasn't worth keeping you can't look at some of the results we have and not want to reach out to the humans and forget the bureaucracy. and if we could build that attitude on both sides of the aisle we would be an amazingly different place and the country would begin to be a different place. we have to create a partnership. we have to reach out to the american people. we're going to do a lot of important things as of today we are going to, thanks to the house information system and congressman vern alers we are going to be on line for the whole country every amendment every conference rorp. we're working with c-span and
others and congressman again hart has agreed to help on the a bipartisan basis to make the building more open to television, more accessible to the american people. we have talk radio hosts here today for the first time and i hope to have a bipartisan effort to make the place accessible for all talk radio hosts of all backgrounds no matter what their ideology. the house historian's office is going to be much more aggressively run on a bipartisan basis to reach out to close up to others to teach what the legislative struggle is about. i think over time we can and will this spring rethink campaign reform and lobbying reform and review all ethics including the gift rule and rethink what our role should be. but that ain't enough. our challenge shouldn't be to balance the budget to pass the contract, our challenge shouldn't be anything that's just legislative. we're supposed to each one of us be leaders. i think our challenge has to be to set as our goal -- and we're
not going to get here in two years but this ought to be the goal that we go home and we tell people that we believe in there will be a monday morning when for the entire weekend not a single child was killed anywhere in america. that there be a monday morning when every child in the country went to a school that they and their parents thought prepared them as citizens and prepared them to compete in the world market. that it was easy to find a job or create a job and your own government didn't punish you if you tried. [applause] we shouldn't be happy just with the language of politicians and the language of legislation. we should insist that our success for america is felt in the neighborhoods and the communities felt by real people living real lives who
can say, yeah we're safer, we're healthier, we're better educated. america succeeds. this morning's closing hymn at the prayer service was the battle hymn of the republic. it's hard to be in this building and look down toward the lincoln memorial and not realize how painful and how difficult that battle hymn is. the key phrase is, as he died to make men holy let us live to make men free. it's not just political freedom although i agree with everything congressman gephart said earlier. if you can't afford to leave the public housing project you're not free. if you don't know how to find a job and you don't know how to create a job you're not free. if you can't find a place that will educate you you're not free. if you're afraid to walk to the store because you could get killed you're not free. and so as all of us over the
coming months sing that song, as he died to make men holy let us live to make men free, i want us to dedicate ourselves to reach out in a genuinely nonpartisan way to be honest with each other. i promise each of you that without regard to party my door is going to be open. i will listen to each of you. i will try to work with each of you. i will put in long hours and i will guarantee that i will listen to you first. i will let you get it all out before i give you my version because you've been patient with me today and you've given me a chance to set the stage. but i want to close by reminding all of us of how much bigger this is than us. because beyond talking with the american people, beyond working together, i think we can only be successful if we start with our limits. i was very struck this morning with something bill emerson used a fairly famous quote of benjamin frank lifment at the point where the constitutional
convention was deadlocked and people were tired and there was a real possibility that the convention was going to break up. and frankly who was quite old and had been relatively quiet for the entire convention suddenly stood up and was angrifment he said, i have lived, sir, a long time. and the longer i live the more convincing proofs i see of this truth, that god governs in the affairs of men. and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? and at that point the constitutional convention stopped, they took a day off for fasting and prayer, and then having stopped and come together they went back and they solved the great question of the large and small states and they wrote the constitution and the united states was created. if each of us -- and all i can do is pledge you for me. if each of us will reach out
and try to genuinely try to ubs the other, if we will recognize that in this building we symbolize america writ small that we have an obligation to talk with each other then i think a year from now we can look in the 104th congress as a truly amazing institution and without regard to party. without regard to ideology we can say here america comes to work and here we are preparing for those children a better future. thank you. good luck. and god bless you. let me now call on mr. dingell. [applause]
the speaker: i am now ready to take the oath of office i am now ready to take the oath of office i ask the honorable john dingell of michigan to administer the oath of office. >> >> will the gentleman from georgia please raise his right hand. do you solemnly swear to defend and support the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic that you will bear true allean gs to the same that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the of